Written by Mat Casner

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Ep. 15. How to build an email list for your freelance business from scratch


Freelance CEO Mat Casner
The Freelance CEO Podcast with Mat Casner
Ep. 15. How to build an email list for your freelance business from scratch

How to build an email list for your freelance business from scratch

One thing is for certain clients are essential, but if you don’t have any clients, then you have to let people know who you are, what you do, and who you serve. You probably have social media, blogs, podcasts, webinars, workshops, those are all great, but how do you capitalize on that activity and move them to the next level?

Okay. You build an Email List so that you can continue the process of building trust into these new relationships. In 15 years of freelancing full-time, one thing I’ve learned is certain, the most successful business owners spend time growing and nurturing their Lists. And if you’d like to learn more, stick around. In today’s episode, I’m going to show you my top five strategies for building your Email List from scratch.

If you haven’t already learned, the first stage of marketing is the awareness stage. It’s when people find out who you are, what you do, and the people that you serve. But you have to move them quickly to the second stage by helping them understand a little bit more about who you are so that you can develop some trusting relationships with these people that would hopefully turn into future clients.

This is the consideration stage. You wanna give your crowd the opportunity to learn more about you so that you can eventually turn them into a client. One of the best ways to nurture this new relationship is through email. Now, I realize that that may sound kind of old school, but trust me when I say this, that email is still one of the most powerful ways to develop a relationship with a current or new customer.

And today, I’m going to show you the top five ways or strategies for building your Email List of future clients when you’re just getting started. The top five strategies, and here we go. Strategy number one that I wanna share with you is to offer some sort of resource with inherent value. You’ve probably gone to a million websites and you see that they are giving away some sort of a freebie, a pdf, a video, a tip sheet, a checklist, something that has some sort of inherent value. These are terrific ways for exchanging some value that you have to offer for an email from a potential client. Now, why does this even work anyway? Well, you wanna make sure that the resource that you’re giving away has some value. In other words, you wanna make sure that it either helps your customers save some time or save some money. If your resource can do that for them, then I think you stand a very good chance of exchanging that resource for an email address that you can then have on your Email List. The strategy number two is to answer a common question or provide a solution to a common problem.

When people come to you, they want to know that you are an expert. They want to know that you have the answer to the problems that they have. And chances are very likely that the customers that you deal with all come with a common set of problems and questions. So one of the things that you can do as an expert is pick one of those questions and answer it for your audience.

This is going to help your audience not only get an answer to a common question that you know that they’re going to have along their customer journey, but it also gives you an opportunity to prove yourself an expert. And when people can find that you have the answers to the questions that they have, then they’re going to trust you for questions and problems that they have in the future.

So give them an answer to a question or a solution to a problem that’s common to your, to your audience. Now, one thing I will say about this is that you don’t wanna give away the farm necessarily. So it’s okay to share the what of the solution or of the answer to the question, but you don’t necessarily have to explain all the how.

That’s what they’re going to trust you and hire you to do, is to help them execute whatever problem or solution they need to implement in their business. So, just a little side note there. All right, so step number one. Tip number one is provide a resource with inherent value. Could be a pdf, an audio file, a video, whatever.

Step number two or stage number two is to answer a common question or provide a solution to a common problem. TIF number three for getting new customers on your Email List is to give them a short quiz. Now, guys, quizzes are just fun. And we know that we love to take quizzes. We wanna know how we stack up, we wanna know how we line up with the world or whatever.

And if you can give your customers a quiz and test them on their knowledge or rank them in terms of a profile and give them a way to score themselves, quizzes can be a very effective tool for getting people onto your Email List. Use that inherent nature in all of us to have a little fun to, to do something that’s enjoyable and to something to some degree, we discover something about ourselves because that quiz can then point us back to a resource. It can point us back to a description or to a additional information that, again, helps lead us down the trusting relationship building part of our customer journey. Okay, so create a quiz for your potential customers. Tip number four is to generate or create a newsletter and share it with your audience.

If you’re a blogger, if you’re a podcaster, if you share information regularly, then a newsletter ought to be a a no-brainer for you. If you have a newsletter, you can very easily send that out once a week, once a month, whatever frequency you want it to be, and share all of that great information, podcast, YouTube, videos, whatever it is that you’re creating for your audience, you can share it quickly and easily through an email newsletter. Plus, it’s also a way to share what’s going on in your business, brag on your current customers, show them what problems that you’re solving for them, and create this fomo. But with new people that jump on your list, who are really wanting to see what you can do and can learn through the experience that you have with other clients by reading your newsletter.

So giving ’em an opportunity to sign up for a newsletter is tip number four. Now, my fifth and final tip is really fun, and it can be a very effective way to get new people on your list, and that is to offer a contest or a giveaway. Now, if you’ve ever bought advertising, you know that it costs a lot of money and you can easily wrap up a hundred or $200 into some Facebook ads or some Google ads that may or may not bring you the right traffic.

However, if you have a tool or a resource or can find a sponsor that can give you access to a tool or resource that resonates really well with your audience, it’s a tool that your audience is in inclined to be interested in, then you can simply offer a giveaway or a contest where you give one lucky winner access to whatever the the prize is.

Now, people love free things, and people are always in the, you know, wanting to get something for nothing. So this is a way for someone to have a little fun, have a chance at winning something that could be a, a useful tool in their business, and an exchange for it. You’re able to add them to your list. So a contester giveaway can be a fun way to collect emails and start adding them to your your subscriber list.

So now just to recap the five tips for building your Email List from scratch. Number one, give away a free resource that has real value. Okay? Something that saves your customers some time or some money. Tip number two, answer a common question or provide an answer to a common problem that your customer runs into. This is going to save them some time.

It’s gonna give them some extra information, and it’s gonna help build trust in you as the expert, and then help you land a sale later on. Number three, give them a short quiz. Have a little fun. Have them go through a quiz and help them find, find some something out about themselves that they didn’t know, and take them down a little path that might give them opportunity to engage with you with future resources or perhaps a, a job or project. So number four, start a newsletter so that you can share content that you’re already creating, share successes and wins that you have with your other clients, new services that you’re rolling out, and to be able to share tips and information with your audience very quickly and easily. Again, you can build a lot of trust and a lot of relationship through a email newsletter. And tip number five is to offer a contest or giveaway. Have some fun with your audience. Here’s a little bonus. Where do you put all of these little list building strategies? Well, I’ve got some answers for you. Okay. You can add them to your website, your homepage. You can add them to your landing pages on your website or your homepage. You can add them to your social media channels, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram. You can put these anywhere while you have eyeballs, people coming and checking out you and your services. You can also add it to your email signature. How many emails do you send out a day?

How many autoresponders do you have set up for email? You can add your opt-ins for any of these list building strategies into your email signature, and let every time you send out an email, let it be a tool that’s working to get people onto Email List so that you can nurture them and help take them down your customer journey.

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